A lot has been made of the importance of experience this campaign and I was wondering how important a factor experience really is in the performance of Presidents.
The challenge of course is finding rankings that can be agreed upon for the analysis. I used rankings from a 2005 Wall Street Journal Poll that specifically tried to balance the participants between conservatives and liberals. The survey ranked George W Bush four behind JFK and three ahead of Bill Clinton which I think is pretty generous but should remove any doubt about the rankings being liberal leaning. You can find more information about the rankings here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_United_States_Presidents
I have included the xls file below so you can change the rankings as you see fit and see how the results change. (Note: I have excluded the Presidents that were either killed or died in the first year of their Presidency)
The two conclusions that can be drawn from the above analysis is experience is inversely related to success as a President as is legislative experience. Interestingly, when the first 14 Presidents are removed from the dataset the inverse relationship between Presidential performance and experience is even greater.
In my opinion the take away is the experience argument in general has been overplayed in this election.
Please comment, I would love to know you thoughts.